Peale Exhibit Review

On September 21st, I took a trip to Independence Mall and visited the Peale Exhibit in the American Philosophical Society Museum. The weather was really nice out and it wasn’t too crowded in Center City, Philadelphia. The tour guide seemed knowledgable, nice, and genuine. I went alone and wish I had thought to bring someone with me instead because I almost felt awkward in this space with strangers. I kept quiet and reserved and listened to learn any facts that we did not touch on in class. The exhibit was fairly small; however, the objects that had inhabited this exhibit were really cool to see in person. The pictures on slides in class did not do the exhibit any justice. I was able to look at some of the museum pieces and understand why they are placed a certain way and what the significance of that is. Most of what I had learned in class directly related to the exhibit and it was so interesting to be able to tie everything together. Although the exhibit was small, not many people were there so I had a chance to really look at most of the pieces and read their descriptions. My fear going into the exhibit was seeing the dead animals and taxidermy, but I tried to think of it from a fundamental perspective and it worked! I associated the animals with science, history, and art and it took away the humanization (animalization?) of what I was looking at. Overall, this experience was really interesting and I enjoyed this hands-on way of learning. I was able to apply facts learned within the classroom, outside of the classroom and see in person what is being taught. My biggest complaint about this exhibit was the size. I can’t imagine how different my experience would have been had the exhibit been crowded on the day and time that I went. The size of the exhibit and lack of variety of museum pieces made this exhibit not one of my favorites of other museums that I have visited.

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